Annotations and comments

Ivan has posted 73 annotations/comments since 19 February 2013.


Second Reading

About Monday 10 August 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L & M reads "disquiet" not "disgust" concerning Sam's thoughts about keeping his wife subjugated!!

" I must use all the brains I have to bring her to any good when she doth come home, which I fear will be hard to do, and do much disquiet me the thoughts of it."

Elizabeth would no doubt be equally disquieted if she knew her husband's thinking.

About Thursday 23 July 1663

Ivan  •  Link

" and there was a simple fellow, a gentleman I believe of the Court, there, their kinsman, that made me I could have a little discourse or begin acquaintance with Ackeworths wife"

I took it, may be quite wrongly, that Mr. Ackworth's kinsman was not warning SP to keep away from Mrs. A but quite the reverse. He was nudging SP to pay her attentions a la Mrs. Bagwell; offering her up so to speak in return for future advancements for Ackworth males. A little discourse or beginning acquaintance will lead who knows where!

About Wednesday 1 July 1663

Ivan  •  Link

"Sir J. Mennes and Mr. Batten both say that buggery is now almost grown as common among our gallants as in Italy, and that the very pages of the town begin to complain of their masters for it. But blessed be God, I do not to this day know what is the meaning of this sin, nor which is the agent nor which is the patient."

I may be guilty of the most appalling naivety but I am not sure I wholly understand Pepys' comments about "buggery". Does he mean he is not sure who instigates the practice? Maybe the gallants are seducing their page boys or maybe vice-versa the page boys are seducing the gallants. Is this his meaning? He evidently thinks homosexual practices are sinful, as a good heterosexual man and that he is blessed to be free of such thoughts! I am puzzled, however, by his saying that he does not know its "meaning". Is he referring to what might be termed the social effects of "buggery" becoming more common in London at that time [if it was?] or is he wondering aloud, as it were, about the religious/philosophical implications of such desires.

What, in fact, were the legal implications of such behaviour? Were homosexuals brought before courts of law at this time? The lewd behaviour of Sir Charles Sedley "acting all the postures of lust and buggery that could be imagined" in a public display had to be legally dealt with but what was the position of say the ordinary, non-heterosexual male citizen at this time?

About Monday 25 May 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M seem to think that Louis X1V's "Spotted feavour" was measles. Their footnote reads "Louis X1V, who had caught the measles from his wife, was well and back at work after dinner on 23 May/2 June."
[de Lionne to de Cominges, 24 May/3 June.]

About Friday 22 May 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M have this to say of "A vindication of the degree of gentry..." by a Person of Quality.
"Much of the book is unintelligible."
So one must wonder about the qualities of the person who wrote it!

About Sunday 10 May 1663

Ivan  •  Link

L&M read that " the Bishop of Galloway was besieged in his house by some women"

So there were a number of "amazons" who were intent on outraging the bishop not just one! Makes more sense.

About Friday 26 December 1662

Ivan  •  Link

"but it is no matter, we shall endeavour to joyne the Lyon's skin to the Foxes tail."

L&M comment in a note: "Pepys has the words in the wrong order: he means to suggest that cunning is necessary."

So we should be joining the tail of the fox to the body of a lion, as Bill's quote from a French dictionary would suggest.

About Tuesday 11 November 1662

Ivan  •  Link

L&M reads: "but that the trouble of my house doth so cruelly hinder me,"

So "house" which is concerning Sam greatly makes more sense than "office".

About Thursday 30 October 1662

Ivan  •  Link

Reading of Pepys' encounter with the "young simple fantastic coxcombe" Deputy-Governor of the Tower and his silk dressing gown I was reminded of a similar encounter between Hotspur and a King's messenger [Henry 1V Part 1 1iii ], where Hotspur is enraged by a "popinjay" who demands his prisoners and is refused:

" For he made me mad
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, God save the mark!"

Hotspur roundly denounces his effeminacy:

"Fresh as a bridegroom: and his chin new reaped
Showed like a stubble land at harvest home.
He was perfumed like a milliner,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose, and took't away again"

Sam manages to suppress his anger somewhat better than Hotspur.

About Saturday 4 October 1662

Ivan  •  Link

Re the sinking of the Satisfaction L&M note that the Navy Board enquiry found that the pilot, John Lewis, was to blame and that Pepys' shorthand notes of his examination of Lewis describe him as "a sober man".

About Thursday 2 October 1662

Ivan  •  Link

"I do go thither; and by very great fortune did fallow four or five gentlemen who were carried to a little private door in a wall, and so crept through a narrow place and came into one of the boxes next to the King's;"

What struck me very forcefully about this episode was the amazing lack of security. It would seem that neither the King nor Queen were present but what if Mr.Pepys had been an assassin, armed with a poniard/dagger and bearing a grudge, instead of being a lover of "sport" and plays and with an eye for the ladies.

When Charles visited play houses and walked and flirted amongst the populace would he have been accompanied by any courtiers bearing arms or having the capability of using their swords to protect him? Surely the "merry monarch" did not think popularity alone would protect him from all his enemies.

About Monday 1 September 1662

Ivan  •  Link

L&M read "heels" not "holes"

"I thinking another not fit to be trusted that leaves a key behind their heels."

About Wednesday 9 July 1662

Ivan  •  Link

"but as he dissembles with me, so must I with him"
Do other annotators think Penn is dissembling as Sam asserts to justify his own dissembling? Or could it be that Penn thinks everything is smoothed over or doesn't really understand how strongly Pepys is offended with him about who should draw up contracts. Maybe he is just in blissful ignorance about Sam's true feelings and genuinely commits the care of his house to Sam and offers "all his services" in a sincere manner. I suppose we shall just have to see how their relationship turns out.

About Saturday 3 May 1662

Ivan  •  Link

Today, in order to visit the Tower with so many vulnerable children, Sam would have to fill ,in numerous forms and await police accreditation that he was not and never had been a child molester!! What about those beatings of Wayneman? Oh dear!

About Monday 17 March 1661/62

Ivan  •  Link

Charles Spencer writes at length in Chapter 10 [Strangers in a Strange Land] of his excellent book "Killers of the King" published in 2014 concerning the arrest in the Netherlands of Barkstead, Okey and Corbet and what might be termed the despicable behaviour of Downing.

The following quote will give a flavour of his views: "John Okey, "little thinking", as a friend wrote, "that his New England tottered chaplain whom he clothed and fed at his table, and who dipped with him in his own dish should prove like the Devil among the twelve to his Lord and Master", assumed that he and Barkstead would be left alone during their travels through the Netherlands. He quickly checked through an intermediary that this would be the case, and received assurances of their wellbeing from Downing, who claimed that he had no orders to look out for them."

About Wednesday 20 November 1661

Ivan  •  Link

I have just finished reading Charles Spencer's passionate and well-researched book "Killers of the King" which was published in 2014. He depicts and proves, as far as I am concerned, Charles11 as a man of vengeance. The Declaration of Breda was a smokescreen as its provisions were not to be applied to those Parliament "excepted". And Charles made sure that anyone connected, however remotely, with the death of his father was "excepted" and then savagely executed in the most abominable manner imaginable.
Men who surrendered themselves expecting some clemency and mercy were hung, drawn and quartered. The King's agents hunted down men who had fled to Europe and the Americas. I would urge people interested in this period to read Spencer's book. Having done so I think they would reject Robert Gertz's notion of Charles Stuart's "innate kindness" and Paul Chapin's idea of Charles as departing "from the bloody norm of vengeance and retribution". It was a continuation and some!!